Charles W. Atkinson

Submitted to the West Virginia Biographies Project by:
Valerie & Tommy Crook
September 24, 1999

The History of West Virginia, Old and New
Published 1923, The American Historical Society, Inc.,
Chicago and New York, Volume III,
pg. 264
McDowell County

CHARLES W. ATKINSON is the efficient general superin-
tendent of the Jenkinjones group of mines (Nos. 5, 6, 7 and
8) operated by the Pocahontas Fuel Company, in the vicin-
ity of the Village of Jenkinjones, McDowell County.

Mr. Atkinson was born in Montgomery County, Virginia,
March 3, 1870, and is a son of James G. and Mary Eliza-
beth (Cunningham) Atkinson, both natives of Bedford
County, Virginia, where the former was born April 12,
1842, and the latter, September 7, 1844. The parents now
reside at Alleghany Springs, Montgomery County, Virginia,
and all of their five children are living. James G. Atkinson
was a valiant soldier of the Confederacy in the Civil war,
took part in many battles, including those of Chattanooga,
Lockout Mountain and Princeton, and his command was
with the forces of General Johnston on the retreat to the
seaboard and at the final surrender in North Carolina.
Mr. Atkinson has been a successful farmer, and has been
engaged also in work as a carpenter and builder. He was
for twelve years a resident of McDowell County, West
Virginia, where he built houses at various mines and also
did other construction work. At Northfork, this county,
he served as justice of the peace. He now owns and resides
upon his well improved farm in Montgomery County, Vir-
ginia, and both he and his wife are in the best of health.
They are active members of the Missionary Baptist Church,
and he is a republican and a member of the United Con-
federate Veterans. Edwin Thomas, eldest of the children,
is a farmer near the home of his parents; Charles W., of
this review, was next in order of birth; Lillie is the wife
of B. F. Barnes, of Floyd County, Virginia; Lulu Maude
is the widow of John W. Doss, who, as a contractor, built
hundreds of mine houses, and she resides at Alta Vista,
Virginia; Frank M. resides at Graham, that state.

Charles W. Atkinson gained his youthful education in the
schools of his native county, and he was twenty-one years
of age when he came to McDowell County, West Virginia,
and initiated his association with coal mining. He worked
with pick and shovel in the loading of coal at Simmons
Creek, and four months later went to the Upland Mine of
the Crozier Coal Company, where he won promotion to the
position of head trackman. After four years he became the
company’s slate foreman at Northfolk, and his effective serv-
ice led to consecutive advancement, both at Northfolk and
Arlington. He was assistant mine foreman three years,
then became mine foreman at Greenbrier, and finally was
made general foreman in charge of the Cherokee Mine. At
Switchback, as general foreman, he had charge of five mines,
and thereafter he was in service one year at Northfolk and
later at Shamokin and Lick Branch. For two years he was
general superintendent of the Rolfe collieries of the Poca-
hontas Fuel Company, and in 1912 he assumed his present
responsible position as general superintendent at Jenkin-
jones. The railroad extension to this point had not been
made at that time and the opening of the mines, including
the general construction work, were effected under his super-
vision, so that he is consistently to be termed a pioneer in
this now important coal field. He has been closely identified
with general development and progress in the community,
and has served as a member of the school board of Adkins
District. He is a republican, is affiliated with the Masonic
fraternity and the Knights of Pythias, and he and his wife
are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Mr.
Atkinson is more than six feet in height, strong in mind and
body, and a fine representative of the productive workers
of the world.

On July 3, 1896, Mr. Atkinson married May Flanner,
daughter of J. K. Flanner, of Elkhorn, this state, to which
he came from Pennsylvania. Mr. and Mrs. Atkinson have
four sons and three daughters.